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Publisher Description

A riveting and unexpected novel that questions whether a peaceful and non- violent community can survive when civilization falls apart.

Again, all are asleep, but I am not. I need sleep, but though I read and I pray, I feel too awake. My mind paces the floor.

There are shots now and again, bursts here and there, far away, and I cannot sleep. I think of this man in his hunger, shot like a rabbit raiding a garden. For what, Lord? For stealing corn intended for pigs and cattle, like the hungry prodigal helpless in a strange land.

I can hear his voice.

When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community is caught up in the devastating aftermath. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) in the cities become increasingly desperate, they begin to invade nearby farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the gentle communities.

Written as the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob who tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos. Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they do, can they survive?

David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of how we live today and what remains if the center cannot hold.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
July 11
Algonquin Books
Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

Customer Reviews

Lolly B. ,

When the English Fall

Our Episcopal priest mentioned this book in her sermon. Intrigued, I downloaded a sample and then bought it. Each night I have looked forward to reading it. I commend the author for his writing of what it is like to go through such horrible hardships through the eyes of truly humble people who live out their faith.

DenimK ,

Insightful and captivating, with an easy flow!

This book had so many wonderful hooks, from its new spin on the apocalypse story to the Amish perspective, that there was no way I wouldn’t read it.
I love Jacob, Hannah, Sadie, and the younger Jacob and how they love each other. If only we all could treat each with the same love and respect.
I am anxious to read more about this family and their community.

Disgruntled Norridgewockian ,


I have read a fair amount of apocalyptic literature. Everything from zombies to total societal collapse. This book is about an apocalypse, sort of, or at least an apocalypse unfolding. It is also unlike any other a apocalyptic literature I have ever read.

This book is a compilation of a variety of themes. There is a little sociology, a little medicine, a little bit of agricultural science, a fair amount of discussion about morals and ethics with a little bit of mysticism thrown in. I know that sounds like a rather ragged stew, but it ends up fitting together well. Like all good meals it left me wanting more.

I found myself completely engaged with the narrator in this book. I found myself liking him and caring about his family, his friends and what is occurring to them and around them. I found myself struggling with his moral dilemmas as they unfolded. I don’t think you can ask for much more from a writer.

The book ends rather abruptly, but that is a large part of the art of the tale. Not only was I left wanting more of the story, but I was left with a great deal to think about and to ponder in the coming days.

The story and the characters shed some light on life in an Amish community. Not only their way of life, but on the thought processes and varying opinions that exist within what looks to be a fairly homogenous community from the outside. It is an opportunity to be entertained but, if one so desires, also an opportunity to engage in some contemplation of yourself and how you fit into your surrounding community and society.

I enjoyed this book and will keep an eye out for further work from this first time author.